Common Challenges Personal Assistants Face – Part 2
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 by Top London PA — No comments
In the first part of our look at the challenges faced by PAs, we talked about how to handle making a mistake, how to bounce back from it, and what to do if you encounter a hostile working environment. In this second part, our PA recruitment agency looks at two more common challenges for PAs: managing the boundary between personal and professional lives and how to maintain a positive attitude. It’s vital that any PA knows how to manage these challenges.
The boundary between personal and professional lives
As a PA, you not only need to navigate the boundary between your work and home life, you often need to navigate it on your executive’s behalf as well. The nature of a PA’s role is such that it’s not unusual to need to answer an email from a boss in a different time zone or arrange your executive’s dry cleaning.
Without clear boundaries, however, it’s easy to get burnt out.
- Be clear: Make sure you’re clear about what is and isn’t okay in your books. If something can wait until working hours, let it wait.
- Learn to say no: Take on reasonable extra tasks, but don’t be afraid to say no if something’s genuinely beyond your remit and taking it on would compromise your effectiveness in other areas.
- Be honest: Speak to your executive about any difficulties managing boundaries between home and work. Help them see what it’s like on the ground for you.
- Manage time effectively: By being a time management pro, you can manage your personal and professional boundaries more easily.
- Have time out: As a PA, it’s important to ensure you have some uninterrupted time each week. Ring-fence your time off and make sure you won’t be disturbed.
Maintaining a positive attitude
Without wishing to be too stereotypical, PAs are generally excellent at having a positive disposition; it blends harmoniously with the professionalism the role requires. However, even the sunniest of characters can struggle to maintain a positive attitude when situations are difficult. In reality, PAs do have days where they’re irritated by a particular colleague, a supplier is proving to be a headache, or a host of other reasons. To keep a positive attitude:
- Be constructive: Moaning for the sake of it isn’t helpful. Consider what you can do. It will help to shake off any irritations.
- Focus on solutions: If it’s a problem that’s getting you down, then shift focus from the issue to the solution. You’ll be more productive and feel better.
- Be positive: Yes, just fake it until you believe it. If you’re still struggling, then go and have a chat with an unrelentingly positive person. It’ll help.
- Time out: Walk away, go grab a cuppa, and perhaps take a quick walk around the block. You’ll come back feeling more cheery.
Sometimes it’s necessary to dig deeper into why you’re struggling to find a positive attitude. If it’s workplace-related, and the situation is difficult to change, then it may be time to move on to a different role. There are lots of PA jobs in London available. Call our PA recruitment agency on 020 7870 7177 to find a role that brings out your smile again.
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